This week, ChattMag is highlighting Lodge Cast Iron Cook-off Chefs. The annual competition is always a steamy one. Held at the popular downtown Chattanooga Market, 5 chefs will compete—using only Lodge Cast Iron cookware. While usually a pool of Chattanooga’s best, this year’s World Food Championship inclusion opened the competition up to the entire state. One Nashville chef made the cut.
B.J. Lofback hit the food truck scene in Nashville in its infancy. That was back in 2011. Riffs Vine Street Food was the fourth food truck to hit the streets of Music City. In 2015, the name was changed to Funk Seoul Brother and the menu changed its focus to “the Asian side of things, specifically Korean,” Lofback notes.
In 2017, a sit-down restaurant opened in The Factory at Franklin. And the food truck continues to roll, now appearing wherever the people are—by request only. From small private parties and office lunches to larger music festivals, Funk Seoul Brother brings a little soul to Nashville’s food scene.
Lofback is not a formally trained chef. The Detroit native learned to cook out of necessity.
“I like to eat and when I discovered that good food existed, I became obsessed with learning how to cook it,” he says.
The obsession has paid off. Since 2011, Funk Seoul Brother has been on the list of Nashville Scene magazine’s “Best of Nashville” in several categories, including best food truck and best sandwich. In addition, Lofback has entered and won several Nashville food contests, as well as taking home a first-place prize in the Mother Clucker chicken contest in Chattanooga last year. Lofback is also a founding member and former president of the Nashville Food Truck Association.
That said, he still gets a little nervous when it comes to competing, and not knowing what he will be cooking until minutes before the contest begins adds to the pressure. “I like the challenge, the process, though,” he says. “And I really enjoy meeting the other chefs and seeing their creations.”